Projects / University of Natural Resources

Competition for the Türkenwirt Building of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences

p.good Architects in collaboration with grundstein

The Future Workshop TÜWI is a flagship project for sustainable building. The innovative, identity-forming, energy-conscious design was conceived as a highly compact structure with only a basement and a maximum fire access height of 11m. This allows for an economical wooden structure which contributes substantially to an environmental and cost-effective construction. A purist material concept defines the project and determines the clear aesthetics of the interiors.
From the outset, specialists from various disciplines were consulted on the diverse requirements of the project as part of an interdisciplinary planning process, with the goal of developing a holistically optimized design.

Themes that emerged as essential parameters:

1. Architecture as Landscape

2. Urban Development

3. Clear Internal Organization

4. Integrated Research Facility as Open Concept

5. Compactness

6. Fire protection and Escape Route Concept

7. Building Materials Concept

8. Stationary Traffic

Architecture as Landscape

To optimally meet the needs of the complex spatial and functional program, the entire access level is interpreted as a landscape, which evolves topographically – from the street, through the building’s interior and into the garden. This enables the key functional areas – auditorium, cafeteria, educational supply space and TÜWI – to be located within short distance of the entrance and directly overlook the area.
In the cafeteria in particular, as a place of connection to the landscape, the perception of topography as well as the reference to vegetation and outside space is particularly strong.
The auditorium is the heart of the building and is particularly striking in its characteristic, topographic shape with the oblique angle view and is thereby instantly recognizable from inside or outside the building.
Through the use of various organic facades, the building’s surface itself will become an identity-forming element of the landscape.
The variable main facade of photobioreactors (algae) in the south and west as well as various planting systems, represent a composition of vegetation in continuous synergy with at least one added value such as producing energy and shade (south), purifying rain water (east), directing air flow through green buffer walls (institute), cooling the solar cell system by plant transpiration, creating shade (roof garden) etc.

Urban Design

The outstanding cultural and functional significance of the project task is met with a confident structure that sets an example in the street space and outwardly communicates the changing face of the BOKU’s research.
The building mediates the large form of the hotel management school, the small-scale structure of the cottage district and landscape of Türkenschanz Park.
Through the organic facade and the direct visual contact at the main entrance, the building enters into a dialogue with the park diagonally opposite. The building surface is formed following urban design parameters as well as energy optimization, and the solar energy input benefits from the free space of the unshaded park.

Clear Internal Organization

The concept of functional organization divides the building into areas for student government as well as research and teaching.
The university area – with auditorium, cafeteria, institutions, learning and teaching areas – is housed in the main building at Peter Jordan Strasse, while the student government, TÜWI and student union (ÖH) areas centralized in the narrow part of the building at Dänestrasse. Learning and teaching areas are mainly found around the atrium located on the upper floors and are designed as open zones which can be flexibly separated – which extend from the photobioreactor facade to the south to the rainwater filter facade to the east.
The foyer houses the main access point, further learning and teaching areas, the mineral collection exhibition and an info screen to communicate building performance, and turns the photobioreactor facade into tangible showpiece from the inside.

Integrated Research Facility as Open Concept

The integration of research concepts is based on an analysis of the architecture or building-related research projects of the university, and is interpreted as an open proposal to be further developed under an integrated transdisciplinary planning process.
Therefore flexible structures are proposed that include opportunities for future research – the modules of the south and west facades, for example, can easily be unhooked from the support structure and replaced by other elements.


The design is conceived as a highly compact structure with only a basement and a maximum fire access height of 11m, which allows it to be classified as Building Class 4. This offers a significant advantage compared to a design in Building Class 5, for example, regarding the general fire protection standards – it makes it possible to plan an economic wooden construction without complicated fire-resistant cladding, which constitutes a significant contribution to the ecological and economical construction.
A second basement level for underground parking will be omitted due to the difficult ground conditions and construction costs.

Fire Protection and Escape Route Concept

The location of the lecture hall on the ground floor ensures that every seat is located within 40m of an emergency exit leading directly to the open air, which provides the maximum of safety for students while reducing the need for complex emergency stairs and fire stops.
Likewise, fire escapes from the TÜWI and the cafeteria lead directly out into the open without stairs.
Two internal stairwells and an open staircase guarantee a means of escape in case of fire for any other part of the building. Fire walls and fire curtains (Foyer) complement this concept.

Building Materials Concept

The economical use of materials (both in quantity as well as the number of different materials) illustrates the conscientiously sustainable aspect of the project:

- CO2-reduced concrete from granulated slag for below ground construction sections and the auditorium component
- Wood-concrete composite construction for TÜWI and Student Union and the floors of the Institute

These supporting materials are used for thermal activation and designed as visual elements, stressed by the purist material concept stresses and determining the clear aesthetics of the interiors. This concept is complemented by wood and natural stone flooring as well as the comprehensive measures for the integration of vegetation in the building.

Stationary Traffic

The Future Workshop TÜWI is a flagship project for sustainable building – however the arrangement of parking spaces would contradict this concept. Therefore, no costly garage basement is planned. Some 250 spaces are dedicated as parking places for bicycles or electric-bikes: employee parking inside the building, garages around the TÜWI area and at Peter Jordan Strasse at the main entrance and cafeteria. The photovoltaic system supplies the power for charging electric bicycles.

Address Peter-Jordan-Str. 76, Vienna, 1190
Usable Space 4,500 m2
Project Status Closed  
Project Team ARGE grundstein / P.GOOD 
P.GOOD Architects Team: DI Julia Eibel ua. 
Landscape design: Battle i Roig Arquitectes Barcelona
Energie design: exikon / B. Sommer
Power efficency building services:
Team GMI